Back in June, we asked you what you’d like to see more of at SVA – we had lots of requests for more industry news and profiles on movers and shakers in the industry… So here it is! This month we profile Helen Stothard who runs IntelligentVA (a resource for UK assistants) and virtual assistant author.
Your name: Helen Stothard
Your business: HLS Business Solutions and intelligentVA
Tell us a little bit about your business:
I offer Virtual Assistant support to clients around the world, and have moved into both writing and publishing books as well. One day I can be sat bookkeeping, another going round inspecting houses on behalf of a client and another I can be formatting a book I am publishing for a client.
What prompted you to start your business?
A change in my circumstances at my employment, my hours were being cut and I couldn’t afford the drop in salary. The temp agencies couldn’t supply work for just one day a week and I knew I had to do something to make up the shortfall. I didn’t know the title Virtual Assistant but I knew what one did. Once I started part time there was no stopping me, I loved it and was doing well and within six months was able to quit the job I didn’t like any more and go full time.
Whereabouts are you based – and does that make a difference to your work?
I’m based in York in the North of England, and it’s never affected my work. I’ve worked with clients in Australia, France, Spain and most of the UK and Ireland.
What’s your secret superpower? (a skill, a gadget, a way of marketing…)
My secret superpower has to be the network of other Virtual Assistants I am part of, they have been there through the highs, the lows and all the way in between. We’ve challenged each other, worked for each other, shared knowledge amongst ourselves and so much more.
Top book recommendation for other VAs?
I’d have to recommend my own book: ’30 Day Setting up as a Virtual Assistant Challenge: without breaking the bank’
Best thing about working in the VA industry?
The amazing people I have met and worked with, both clients and other Virtual Assistants.
And the worst?
The early days before I discovered other Virtual Assistants and felt very much like I was doing everything on my own.